Serious & Fatal Injuries Remain Common in Motorcycle Accidents
- 1. Motorcycle riders keep suffering great harm after colliding with other vehicles
- 2. General injuries often reported by Queens motorcycle accident survivors
- 3. Motorcycle accident back injuries that often require special surgeries and treatments
- 4. Surgeries often recommended for Queens motorcycle back injury accident survivors
- 5. Statistical reports shed light on the special dangers all motorcyclists face
- 6. What frequently causes most Queens motorcycle accidents?
- 7. Motorcycle accident settlement amounts
- 8. Changing a motorcycle accident lawsuit into a wrongful death case
While Queens motorcycle riders often enjoy a keen sense of freedom as they travel on area roads and freeways, too many forget how vulnerable they are to major accidents. When passenger cars, vans, and large trucks are driven carelessly, motorcyclists can pay a terrible price. Before you start riding regularly, be sure to obtain the best protective gear you can afford to minimize your chances of being hurt badly in a serious collision.
Never assume that an excellent helmet, boots, and other protective gear can prevent all serious injuries. Our firm often meets clients battling major head injuries, fractured bones, road rash, and degloving injuries that may forever change their lives, even with extensive physical therapy.
Before reviewing the top causes of many Queens motorcycle collisions, this article will look at a few recent accidents that led to serious injuries and at least one death. Other covered material includes common motorcycle accident injuries and treatments.
Motorcycle riders keep suffering great harm after colliding with other vehicles
In March of 2022, a man and a woman riding together in Queens on 37th Avenue (near Junction Boulevard) were hit by a car. Although the car driver wasn’t injured – the two motorcycle riders had to be taken to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Four months later in July, another Queens accident occurred. This collision is still under investigation since the police first reported that the two motorcyclists may have hit a 2020 Suzuki driver in the Edgemere neighborhood. Unfortunately, one of these two motorcyclists died.
Back in October of 2021, a motorcyclist riding in the Flushing section of Queens was hit by the driver of a 2004 Toyota Camry heading east on 35th Avenue. That mid-afternoon accident inflicted severe head trauma on an older motorcyclist. He was transported to the New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens where he was soon declared dead. As these collisions reveal, too many Queens motorcycle accidents result in serious injuries or death.
Here’s a closer look at the motorcycle accident injuries our clients often sustain, followed by an overview of the most common types of treatments that doctors recommend.
General injuries often reported by Queens motorcycle accident survivors
- Skin burns and rashes
- Traumatic brain and head injuries
- Fractured and crushed bones — as well as painful neck and back injuries
- Diverse types of internal organ damage
- Temporary or permanent spinal cord injuries
- Severe cuts and lacerations
Motorcycle accident back injuries that often require special surgeries and treatments
One or more of these conditions can develop or worsen after a major Queens motorcycle accident.
- Ruptured or herniated discs. This condition indicates that the discs designed to cushion movement between spinal bones have been damaged, making surgery necessary.
- Spondylolisthesis. When an accident causes spinal bones to fall out of alignment, this condition may develop.
- Spinal stenosis. Too much pressure on distinct parts of the spinal cord and its various nerves can lead to a narrowing of a person’s spinal column.
- Fractures of the vertebrae. Bones injured during all vehicle accidents (and the worsening of any osteoporosis already present) can cause these fractures to develop.
- Degenerative disc diseases. While aging itself sometimes worsens these problems, being in a motorcycle accident often causes these diseases to worsen.
Surgeries often recommended for Queens motorcycle back injury accident survivors
- A spinal decompression/laminectomy. When a patient’s spinal canal has been narrowed due to spinal stenosis – resulting in numbness, pain, or weakness — this operation is often performed. This procedure involves removing the defective walls of the vertebrae and all bones spurs — while trying to reopen more of the spinal column to help decrease pressure on a patient’s spinal nerves.
- A spinal fusion. First, the damaged spinal discs between two or more vertebrae must be removed. Then the nearby vertebrae must be fused together using bone grafts or metal screws and other devices. Unfortunately, after this type of surgery, patients may report a loss of flexibility within their spinal columns. Since this type of operation is extremely complicated, only highly skilled surgeons should ever perform it.
- Discectomy. Accident survivors often ask for this procedure to remove a disc if it has become herniated and is pressing on their spinal cord or nerve roots. Surgeons frequently perform laminectomies and discectomies at the same time.
- Foraminotomy. This surgery is designed to enlarge the bony hole within the spinal column where the nerve root exits the spinal cord. This can help to keep any bulging discs or thicker joints to press less often on the nerves.
- Artificial disk replacement. This is a common alternative to spinal fusion for those who have severely damaged spinal discs. Once the defective discs have been removed, the surgeon replaces them with synthetic ones – helping to restore proper movement and height between the damaged vertebrae.
- Vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty. These procedures are used to repair compression fractures of the vertebrae. While performing this operation, the surgeon must inject a type of bone cement so that it can help strengthen connections between the bones.
- Nucleoplasty or plasma disk decompression. Surgeons must use radiofrequency energy to help treat patients with low back pain – often due to an accident and a mildly herniated disc.
While highly regarded university teaching hospitals may offer other treatments and procedures, the ones set forth above are the ones still most performed for many back injury patients.
Statistical reports shed light on the special dangers all motorcyclists face
Past New York City statistical studies have indicated that almost 100 percent of those who die in motorcycle accidents are males – and over one-half of them are under the age of 35. Here are some additional statistics that help explain more about riding motorcycles in New York.
- Nearly 5,580 motorcyclists died in America in 2020. That’s the highest number ever recorded, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That’s an 11% increase over the previous year. It’s interesting to note that 2020 was the first year of the ongoing COVID pandemic. This 2020 mortality rate was more than double the number of motorcyclists who died in this country back in 1997.
- Helmets are currently considered 37% effective in preventing motorcyclist deaths.
Unfortunately, only 18 states and the District of Columbia require all motorcyclists to wear helmets.
- During the year 2019, a motorcyclist was 29 times more likely to die in a motorcycle accident than someone riding in a car.
- Oddly enough, the safest motorcycle drivers in 2020 were men and women between the ages of 40 and 49.
- During that same year, nearly all the deaths involved male motorcycle drivers. And men represented 92 percent of the overall passenger deaths that year.
- Sixty-one percent (61%) of all female motorcycle accident deaths in 2020 involved women riding as passengers.
- Fourteen percent (14%) of all motor vehicle accident deaths in 2020 involved motorcycles.
What frequently causes most Queens motorcycle accidents?
- Other motorists who disregard traffic signals and lights
- Crowded intersections where both motorcyclists and other vehicle drivers are frequently making left-hand turns
- Lane-splitting. Motorcyclists should avoid traveling side by side in one lane. This makes it extra hard for all surrounding vehicles to keep an eye on the drivers. If a New York court later decides that a motorcyclist was partially at fault for an accident, s/he might still be allowed to recover financial damages — yet they will likely be reduced.
- Poorly maintained roads and freeways. Motorcyclists must constantly keep an eye on all surrounding vehicles — and closely watch the surfaces they’re riding on.
- Threatening road conditions. Experienced motorcyclists know to avoid riding on days when heavy rain, snow or ice are in the forecast. Hydroplaning can make it especially hard for motorcyclists to maintain full traction on the roads.
- Abuse of alcohol or any type of drug that alters one’s vision or sense of awareness. After drinking or using marijuana or prescription drugs, too many motor vehicle drivers forget that their reaction times will be impaired, increasing their chances of being in an accident.
- Poor motorcycle maintenance. You must care enough about your own safety to regularly check on the quality of your tires and other bike parts. Such safety checks should be performed before every trip – regardless of the distance to each destination.
- Taking on a passenger when your motorcycle cannot handle the added weight. Never put anyone at risk on a motorcycle, especially when you’ve recently had trouble keeping your bike upright during turns and other common maneuvers.
Motorcycle accident settlement amounts
As your Queens motorcycle accident attorney has probably told you, what you may receive as a settlement amount (or jury verdict) nearly always depends on the unique factors of your case. However, it is safe to assume that if you have required one or more surgeries due to the severity of your injuries — and if you’ve had to miss work for a lengthy time — you will likely recover much more than someone who only needed short-term physical therapy.
In general, clients who have suffered moderate to severe injuries will likely recover somewhere between $100,000 to $200,000 (or more) – depending on the exact nature of all your injuries. Your doctor’s prognosis regarding all future treatment needs is also particularly important, along with whether you can soon return to work.
Changing a motorcycle accident lawsuit into a wrongful death case
While most of our clients do recover from most of their injuries, a small percentage may later pass away during hospitalization or outpatient treatments. Should this sad situation unfold, our office will immediately respond to a close family member’s request to convert the case to a wrongful death action.
If you have suffered serious injuries after a Queens motorcycle accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our Queens motorcycle accident law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.